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Articles on Anthropology

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Men participate in a demonstration of rope making for dog teams, May 12, 2022, in Inukjuak, Que. The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld

Building bridges between scientific and Indigenous knowledge

The DIALOG network forms a bridge between scientific and Indigenous knowledge. It renews the relationship between the university and the Indigenous world, which has for too long been one-sided.
A man identified only as Viktor shows his neighbor’s grave in Bucha, Ukraine. It was too dangerous to go to the cemetery. Jana Cavojska/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

How burying the dead keeps the living human

Ukrainian families’ anguish at not being able to bury their loved ones underscores a deep human need, an anthropologist writes.
Many researchers are interested in the genetic history of the Khoe-San. Dana Al-Hindi

How a South African community’s request for its genetic data raises questions about ethical and equitable research

The South African Khoe-San communities are no strangers to exploitative research. One research team is trying to provide genetic ancestry results to community members. But they still face many challenges.
Together with artifacts from the past, ancient DNA can fill in details about our ancient ancestors. Nina R/Wikimedia Commons

Ancient DNA helps reveal social changes in Africa 50,000 years ago that shaped the human story

A new study doubles the age of ancient DNA in sub-Saharan Africa, revealing how people moved, mingled and had children together over the last 50,000 years.
The Grotte Mandrin rock shelter saw repeated use by Neanderthals and modern humans over millennia. Ludovic Slimak

New research suggests modern humans lived in Europe 10,000 years earlier than previously thought, in Neanderthal territories

Stone artifacts and a fossil tooth point to Homo sapiens living at Grotte Mandrin 54,000 years ago, at a time when Neanderthals were still living in Europe.
If you aren’t a fan of holiday shopping, you aren’t alone. Dave Einsel/Getty Images

What’s the point of holiday gifts?

Gift-giving might seem needlessly cumbersome and stressful. But the costs and benefits of the custom aren’t what they seem.
Three upright walkers, including Lucy (center) and two specimens of Australopithecus sediba, a human ancestor from South Africa dating back nearly 2 million years. Image compiled by Peter Schmid and courtesy of Lee R. Berger/Wikimedia Commons

When and how was walking invented?

Walking has taken a very long time to develop, with evidence of bipedalism among early humans in Africa roughly 4.4 million years ago.
Ancient military innovations – like the bit and bridle that enabled mounted horseback riding – changed the course of history. Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin/British Museum via WikimediaCommons

The horse bit and bridle kicked off ancient empires – a new giant dataset tracks the societal factors that drove military technology

Did ancient technological advancements drive social innovation, or vice versa? Studying cause and effect in the ancient world may seem like a fool’s errand, but researchers built a database to do just that.

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